Scene: In the park, with my toddlers.
I should make more mom friends. Do I need more mom friends? What is a mom friend, anyway?
I have a lot of friend-friends, and some of them are moms. Does that count? Or does a mom friend have to be someone you met in the process of momming?
Momming as a verb. To mom. Is that new? Did I just think of that? Probably not.
Hey, there’s a mom. Her child looks roughly the age of my child. Our toddlers are drooling in the same vicinity. That seems like a good sign. She’s at this park, probably lives in the area. Hm, could we be friends?
Wait, how do you make friends? I used to do that! I know how to do that, right? Should I introduce myself? Oh, God, flashback to freshman dorm and the angst over a blank whiteboard on your door. Why does no one have any cute, private jokes to write to meeee? Flashback to kindergarten when you literally asked someone to be your friend because no one had told you that honesty and earnestness are not qualities sought after by the sub-seven set.
Shake it off. You’re an adult. You got this.
Ooh, her kid just ate dirt. I like what I’m seeing. Potential mom friends’ reactions, ranked: 1. None 2. Casual admonition to child. 3. Admonition plus sheepish shrug to onlookers. 4. Leaping in with Purell.
Wait for it. Wait for it. Casual admonition. Nice.
I’m a people person. Am I a people person? Yes, I’m a people person. But I think I gathered all the people I like and then I was all, “Cool, these are my people. Why do I need new ones? I’m good with these.”
Is that bitchy? That’s not bitchy. My people are good people. I’m also busy? Maybe I’m bitchy *and* busy.
Bizzzztchy. Hehehehe. I crack myself up. See? This is fine. Just having a great time by myself. Oh, and my kids. Love those kids. Totally engaged. “Hey, honey! Yep, I see you! So cool! Don’t put acorns in your sister’s diaper. No, don’t… Ehh, nevermind.”
What I need is a Grindr for moms. Oh, wait, that got weird. That’s not what I mean! Grindr without the sex part; just the proximity part. So, like super-boring Grindr. Stick with me. I need an app that’s like, “There are 3 other moms within a 4-block radius whose children are in bed and have a spouse or sitter on duty and could walk to your house to split this bottle of Cab.”
Hmm, now that I think of it, that just sounds like a neighborhood. Maybe I should just be a better neighbor.
We also need some kind of universal gauge. On a scale of “Hoarders” to HGTV, where would your living room fall if I arrived unannounced? When clean, mine might be a “Love It or List It,” aspiring to a Gaines “Fixer-Upper,” and in everyday life, looking pretty comfortably “Roseanne.”
This mom has cute leggings on. Fine line, though. Are her leggings bought-them-at-Target-while-picking-up-K-Cups cute or add-you-to-14-LulaRoe-groups cute? Is it a cult? I think it might be a cult.
Maybe I should start a nonprofit for rescuing people from it. And then they’d be my mom friends. They’d probably be pretty grateful. Maybe they’d give me free leggings. Wait, stop, that’s how they get you!
Momtrepreneurs. Much respect. But sometimes it feels weird that this popular online leggings/jewelry/essential oils/skin care store lets me post cute pics of my kids. Oh, that’s just Facebook.
Someday, like when they have opinions, are my kids going to pick my mom friends for me? That saves me some trouble, but also relinquishes any chance at extreme vetting. YSWIDT? Timely, topical mom humor.
Would I be friends with someone who laughed at that joke? Maybe not. I don’t think I’d be friends with someone who made that joke. Sorry, me.
Do I have time to make friends? A lot of moms work out together. I know there are groups for that, but they always require… working out. I say I have no time, but I made time for that “Downton” and “The Crown” back-to-back binge. Ooh, I need Friends Who Binge. Like Ladies Who Lunch. Has a ring.
So, to recap, I could put off the mom-friending until my kid chooses other kids to be friends with or I could make some decisions and impose the kids of those moms on my kids.
I like the idea of letting my kid live with my choices instead of the other way around. When Betty Draper was sitting around with her neighbors having a Gimlet and a Chesterfield while eight months pregnant, she wasn’t worrying about how fulfilled her kids were in their friendships.
She picked the people who were close by and most fun for bitching and pinochle. Should I think more deeply about how Betty Draper is not an optimal mom role model? Naaaaah.
Oh, here comes the mom now. I know I’ve seen her before. Okay, I’m doing it, I’m taking the leap. This is not gonna be awkward. It’s gonna be great.
“Hey, wanna come over some time for bitching and pinochle?”
Me: “Kidding, I don’t know how to play pinocle.”
Her: “I’m your neighbor’s nanny.”
Me: “…So do you have a mom I could be friends with?”